Saturday, April 15, 2017

Eight seek seat vacated by Judge Casey Moreland

The deadline for nominations to fill the seat of disgraced Judge Casey Moreland, who was forced to

Sam Coleman
resign his seat, passed Tuesday of this week.  Moreland is under investigation by the FBI on corruption charges. Of the things Moreland is being accused of is dismissing criminal charges in exchange for sex.

Eight candidates have been nominated to fill the seat. Nomination could be made by the candidate himself or by any member of the public. The Metro Council has the responsibility of choosing Moreland's repacement, which they will do at the May 16th meeting. On May 2, nominees will be interviewed by the Council's Rules Committee.

Adam Dread
One of the nominees is Antioch-area Councilman Sam Coleman.  In the past, Metro Council members have had the inside track on filling these type vacancies.  Other nominees include former Metro Councilman Adam Dread who unsuccessfully ran for General Sessions Judge as a Republican in 2014.  Dread ran as a Republican after being denied the opportunity to run for the seat as a Democrat by the Davidson County Democrat Party.

Another candidate who I had would think would be a leading contender would be Ana Escobar.  She was is an assistant prosecutor at the District Attorney’s Office and was Metro clerk from 2011 to 2013. That is an advantage in that she gets known by the Courthouse crowd.  Also, I would suspect that having a Spanish surname and being female would be a benefit.

Other nominees include Michael Clemons, Barry Gearon, Martesha Johnson, Nick McGregor and Tillman Payne.  For more on this see this link and this one.  Powerful factions line up behind various candidates and Councilmen may be subject to intense lobbying to fill this seat. Look for an update on this story.  If I learn more about who is supporting whom, I will post it.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Bill Haslam signs repeal of new Nashville, Memphis marijuana laws

by Joey Garrison , USA Today Network - Tennessee - Nashville and Memphis received great fanfare last fall from criminal justice advocates for passing local ordinances that gave police the power to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

But now it's over after just seven months.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday signed into law Republican-backed legislation to repeal separate Nashville and Memphis laws that had allowed partial marijuana decriminalization in those communities, officially putting an end to the short-lived policies.

... Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery issued a legal opinion in November ....“A municipal ordinance that attempts to regulate a field that is regulated by state statute cannot stand if it is contradictory to state law,” Slatery wrote in his opinion.

Metro Director of Law Jon Cooper said in November that he disagreed with Slatery, arguing the ordinance was not preempted by state law. Supporters of the ordinance have argued it works within the confines of state law, likening the measure to Metro’s laws for litter and seat belts, both of which have penalties that are not as severe as those outlined in state law. (link)

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Why would a tourist city short of hotel space restrict short-term rentals?

by Jared Mayer, The American Spectator - Places like Nashville, Tennessee, should love short-term rental platforms like Airbnb or HomeAway. For one, the city has a booming tourism industry but remains short of enough hotels to meet surging demand. This is why Nashville’s downtown has the highest average nightly hotel rate in the United States — ahead of cities like San Francisco and New York City.

.... Unfortunately, rather than craft laws that embrace innovation and make it easier for both residents and tourists, Nashville’s government has unbelievably placed arbitrary limits on short-term rentals. Now, it is time for the state of Tennessee to step in and curtail Nashville’s war on innovation.

....  Airbnb’s presence in Nashville is helping to address a serious issue. Nashville currently dishes out millions of taxpayer dollars to incentivize hotel building, due to its hotel shortage. In this climate, Nashville policymakers would be wise to embrace the opportunity Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms offer to their community. Instead, they limit this technology’s potential in order to satisfy the demands of loud special interests.

.... state lawmakers should take this decision from a city council’s hands that have shown no respect for property rights. There is no reason for policymakers to be afraid to rein in cities that limit the economic opportunity that comes from technological progress. (link)

My Comment: I agree.

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What Homesharing Means to Me

Reposted from The Beacon Center:

Alece Ronzino

“I moved to Nashville in 2011 after launching and leading a nonprofit in South Africa for 13 years. I’ve continued my work in the nonprofit sector by providing consulting services to grassroots organizations. In 2013, I purchased my first home in East Nashville and began renting out my guest rooms on Airbnb to supplement my income. If it weren’t for my Airbnb business, I would be hard-pressed to continue my work with developing nonprofits that are doing great work with small budgets. I am thankful to live in a city that has an innovative entrepreneurial culture, enabling me to restart my life, serve nonprofits, earn a living, and support other local businesses.” 
 Rachel and P.J. Anderson

“My husband is a Christian singer-songwriter who frequently tours for his work. Since I am a graphic designer, my job enables me to travel with my husband along with our young children. It’s important for us that our young family is able to spend as much time together as possible. We rent out our home on Airbnb while we travel, enabling us to keep our family together and cover all of our expenses. It just seems unfair that Nashville decision makers are siding with the big hotel chains over small families like us who are just trying to achieve work-life balance.”

Shan Canfield

“My husband and I purchased the home next door to our own and opened an Airbnb to help us retire on time. This was a huge opportunity for us to get ahead financially, but it also allowed us to invest in the lives of people from all around the world. We have loved operating this business and sharing our lives with individuals and families whose paths we’d otherwise never have crossed. To us, Airbnb has meant financial security, the ability to invest in our community, and sharing our lives. We’re so grateful for what this business has brought to our lives.”

Bailey Neal

“I own and operate a business called Nestive that services 135 short-term rentals in the state. My business employs 24 full and part-time people making upwards of $15/hour who clean, perform maintenance, and provide upkeep on homes being used as short-term rental properties. I am passionate about ensuring that visitors to Nashville enjoy a quality experience in the city and truly experience our community. Operating this business allows me to positively impact the lives of so many of my fellow citizens from those I employ, to the Airbnb hosts and their guests that we serve, to the numerous shop and restaurant owners our guests visit while in town.” 


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Southeast Nashville Conservatives' Breakfast - April 22th. Guest Speaker Joe Carr/

From Robert Duvall:

Southeast Nashville Conservatives' Breakfast 
Please note - we have moved our Breakfast this month only to the 4th Saturday (April 22) because of Good Friday/Easter Celebrations on the 3rd weekend.

Shoney's 407 Thompson Lane (Nolensville Rd &Thompson Lane) Social/Dutch treat breakfast available beginning at 8:00 a.m. We have a full, very informative program this month so we will begin our program promptly at 9:00 am (and maybe even a few minutes before).

Guest Speaker (back by popular demand!) Joe Carr Former State Representative, U S Senate & Congressional Candidate Joe will discuss some of the "crazy shenanigans" going on in our current Legislative Session - Governor Haslam's proposed gas tax increase, State Senator Gardenhire's bill to give instate college tuition to illegal immigrants....and other controversial legislation, along with his insights on the next Gubernatorial Race and likely candidates (of which there does not seem to be a shortage!) We all know Joe "tells it like it is", so should be a great meeting. And I know many of us want to know "What's next for Joe Carr?" - We will ask!

Hosted by Robert Duvall &Pat Carl
 ~the end~

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bill Freeman's company chosen to serve as administrator of Nashville's Housing Incentive Pilot Program.

HIPP will allow developers and apartment owners to seek grants from Metro to offer mixed-income workforce housing in new and existing developments

Metro Press release - At a networking reception hosted at Emma Bistro on Tuesday night, Mayor Megan Barry announced the start of the Housing Incentive Pilot Program. Created by the Mayor’s Office and approved by the Metro Council, HIPP was designed with feedback from the developer and housing advocate communities to help address the need for workforce housing in Nashville.

“In order to meet the unique housing needs of people of all economic strata, we need a diverse set of tools and policies that will result in more individuals and families finding the housing options they need to succeed,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “HIPP will help us to incentivize mixed-income housing developments that will preserve the option for teachers, construction workers, service employees, and others to live and work in Nashville.”

HIPP was developed to work in concert with the Metro Council’s Inclusionary Housing Policy, BL2016-133, while also operating as a stand-alone incentive program for apartment owners and developers in Nashville. The Freeman Webb Company, which has experience administering programs for MDHA and other affordable housing developments throughout the county, was recently awarded the contract to serve as the administrative agency for the program.

Under the program, developers wishing to take advantage of the incentive program would need to provide affordable or workforce housing at a rate that is equal to or less than 30% of an individual or family’s household income. For example, utilizing the 2015 figures, the maximum monthly rental for a family of four making 60% of MHI, or $35,882 would be $897. For a family of four at the workforce level making $71,764, or 120% of MHI, the maximum rent would be $1,794.

Developers who meet these terms can apply for a grant to cover the difference between the price of market-rate housing and the price of the affordable or workforce housing units. For example, a developer who has market-rate apartments at $1,500 a month and offers comparable below-market housing units for $1,200 would get a grant for the difference of $300 per unit. For new construction the total grant will not exceed the cap of 50% of the increase in property tax value. The program also allows for existing residential units to be converted with the total grant not exceeding the cap of 20% of the property tax value.

“Having diverse housing options is critical to Nashville’s continued success,” said Adriane Harris, Senior Advisor –Affordable Housing. “We’re excited to announce an additional tool for developers to assist in increasing the housing supply needed to retain our teachers, hospitality workers, recent college graduates, and other residents who simply need a place to call home.”

The Metro Council approved a supplemental appropriation of $500,000 that will allow the program to operate for the remainder of FY16-17. Mayor Barry has proposed $2 million in the FY17-18 budget to continue the pilot program into the next year. For housing managers and developers seeking more information or wishing to apply, please visit

My Comment:  While Nashville's Inclusionary Housing Policy is likely to be invalidated by legislation working its way through the State legislature, the Housing Incentive Pilot Program would not be affected. The two policies were designed to work together. The Inclusionary Housing Policy was the stick and the Housing Incentive Pilot Program was the carrot. For more on this issue see, State legislature to stop Nashville's rental price-fixing policy from taking effect.

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Councilman Robert Swope defends the Opryland Hotel water park deal.

Councilman Robert Swope writing in today's Tennessean explains the Opryland water park deal that many have criticizes as "corporate welfare."  He points out that no public funds are going toward the project but that instead Opryland Hotel is getting a limited tax abatement.  He contents it is good deal for the city. To read his article see, Water park won't cost local taxpayers.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Senator Mark Green nominated to be Secretary of the Army. Homosexual activist throw a hissy fit.

Mark Green
It is  now official. President Donald Trump Donald Trump formally nominated Tennessean Senator Doctor Mark Green to be the new secretary of the Army. The announcement was made on  Friday (link).  As Secretary of the Army he will  be the top civilian leader for the U.S. Army, have oversight of the 140-plus Army reserve installations worldwide and administer a  $150 billion budget.

Green is a former Army lieutenant colonel and current Tennessee state Senator and a medical doctor.  He was running for Governor until tagged by President Trump for the position of Army Secretary.  At this early stage in the Governor's race, many considered him the front runner.

Green completed three combat tours in the Middle East as a special operation flight surgeon for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. and was the emergency physician during Operation Red Dawn in 2003, which captured Saddam Hussein. Green was the first person to interrogate Hussein following his capture. He had a distinguished military career and was awarded the  Bronze Star, among other honors. He is a 1986 West Point graduate.

After his service in the Army,  Green founded AlignMD, an emergency room staffing firm which provides staffing services at 47 hospitals in nine states.  Green was elected to the Senate in 2012.

As Secretary of the Army, Green will replace Eric Fanning who was confirmed for the job last May, Fanning is the first openly homosexual person to serve as Army secretary. Apparently, homosexual activist think this should be a homosexual position. Green has been critical of President Obama's policies that allowed transgender people to use whichever bathroom they want.  He has taken a position that men should use men's restrooms even if they identify as women. He has also said that transgender is an illness. Homosexual activist are calling on the Senate to reject his confirmation.

To read more about this issue see L.G.B.T. Advocates Criticize Nominee for Army Secretary and Trump makes it official: Nominates LGBTQ hater Mark Green for Army secretary post.

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